Windows 8 Arrives With Five Good Features, Five Bad Ones

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2012-10-25 Print this article Print

5. Good: An application marketplace

Microsoft has taken a page out of Apple’s book and decided to offer a digital application marketplace in Windows 8. That move should popularize digital distribution across the Windows ecosystem and possibly put an end to Windows 8 discs.

6. Bad: Where’s the Windowing?

In a rather odd move, Microsoft has decided to make Windows 8, well, window-less by moving to a tiled interface, although the operating system gives users the option of switching back to the Windows 7-style desktop. With the tiled interface, all of the operating system’s programs are displayed in full-screen, limiting users’ ability to view multiple windows. Even in horizontal aspect ratios, it’s only possible to put two windows side-by-side. Microsoft is trying to increase individual window real estate in the operating system, but in the process, windowing has largely gone away.

7. Good: Xbox Music integration

Microsoft is trying its luck at digital streaming with the addition of Xbox Music to Windows 8. When users boot up the operating system, they’ll find that they can stream music for free in an ad-supported pane. For $10 a month, the ads are taken away. It’s nice to see Microsoft think beyond operating systems and start delivering useful programs.

8. Bad: PC OEM support in the short-term

For now, don’t expect too many PC makers to have worthwhile products available. Although just about every major PC OEM will offer Windows 8, the computers they’re showing off now are basically Windows 7 machines with a new operating system. Expect the top Windows 8 products that take advantage of the software’s best features to come out at the Consumer Electronics Show in January.

9. Good: Improved security

According to Microsoft, Windows 8 has far better security than its predecessors. The company does that by authenticating the operating system before booting to ensure there isn’t something malicious affecting the system and user data. The operating system also comes with improved anti-malware and Windows Defender support.

10. Bad: Too few apps

Unfortunately, Microsoft wasn’t able to get too many developers to start producing applications for its Windows 8 Store. Microsoft hasn’t yet released official numbers, but some have said that the marketplace has less than 8,000 programs. Considering Apple’s App Store has 100 times that, it’s about time Microsoft starts leaning on developers to get more programs into its store.

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